About 65 percent of unvaccinated Germans said that there is "no way they will get the COVID-19 vaccine over the next two months." A further 23 percent said they would "probably not" get the COVID-19 vaccine in the near future, while 2 percent said they would "definitely not" get the jab at any point.
Out of 3,000 respondents, only 10 percent were still undecided or said they will "probably" get vaccinated in the near future. The poll results meant that people who have until now chosen to remain unvaccinated against COVID-19 are unlikely to be convinced to have the vaccines.
In contrast, Thomas Mertens from the Standing Vaccinations Committee (STIKO) claimed that unvaccinated Germans were not "hardliners" but were merely sitting on the fence and could be convinced.
Mertens is grossly underestimating the resistance of the Germans. Only five percent of respondents said they would get the jab if hospitals were "overwhelmed with patients," while 89 percent said they wouldn't change their mind even if intensive care units reached their capacity.
Vaccine passports actually hardened the people’s opposition to getting vaccinated. Twenty-seven percent said imposing restrictions on the unvaccinated would make them even more determined not to get vaccinated, while only five percent said it would encourage them to get the vaccine.
Last January, German authorities threatened to arrest COVID lockdown rulebreakers. The same authorities said that unvaccinated Germans will be deprived of basic lifestyle activities like visiting cinemas and restaurants. (Related: After throwing them in COVID quarantine camps, German government also strips prisoner of compensation payments to bankrupt them.)
The editor-in-chief of Germany's top newspaper Bild shocked some people by apologizing for the news outlet's fear-driven coverage of COVID, specifically to children who were told "that they were going to murder their grandma."
Meanwhile, the chaotic vaccine rollout in the European Union (EU) is exposing flaws in the communal system as several members of the bloc suspended the use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine over safety concerns.
According to several European officials, the decisions taken in capitals from Copenhagen to Rome were made without any coordination with each other or the EU executive in Brussels.
"It looks like quite an uncoordinated, spontaneous decision, perhaps out of political nervousness," Guntram Wolff, director of the Bruegel think tank in Brussels, told Bloomberg on Oct. 26, referring to the original suspensions. He said such moves were "devastating" for a rapid vaccine rollout.
The 27-nation bloc was slow out the gates to begin vaccinating 450 million Europeans, especially in comparison to the post-Brexit United Kingdom. The relative speed at which the U.K. has inoculated its population, offering the prospect of reopening shops and businesses and even travel abroad, has been a key driving force behind the pound's rally this year.
Sterling rose to a one-year high against the euro in February, threatening the further indignity for Europe of soon witnessing Britons able to holiday on the continent and getting a bargain while doing so.
With COVID deaths on the rise again and governments prolonging or re-tightening lockdowns, the political ramifications of the mess that Europe finds itself in are profound. (Related:Lockdown-free Sweden has fewer excess coronavirus deaths than most of Europe.)
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